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Established March 1942, the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI) is often referred to as The  Forgotten Theater of World War II.  Of nearly 12,000,000 Americans mobilized at the peak of the World War II, roughly 250,000 took part in the war in the CBI Theater. Insurmountable difficulties lay ahead of the allied intended plans to invade Japan from mainland China and the material means to achieve that goal.

The brave American pilots wrote pages of glory when they flew over the Hump without any ground radio support, maintaining strict radio silence during endless hours to avoid attracting enemy fighters, unknown of the aerodynamic adverse effects of high altitude flights at 30,000 feet and manning airplanes  flying close of stalling speeds.

These heroes suffered uncountable losses during their perilous journeys where many of them crashed with their fragile machines in the unforgiving gorges of Southwest China. So far many remnants lay scattered across that  route that was coined as “The Aluminum route.” More than 200 airplanes and their young crews of  US Army Force  gave their lives for the allied cause. Hundreds of U.S aircrafts used regularly the Brazilian airfields to reach the Far East theater through the legendary Takoradi Route.

One of the most serious obstacles was in fact the supply of the ground forces by air, once in the early stages of the war in the Pacific, the Japanese forces had occupied a large area in the same region. The limited twin engine C 46 and C47 cargo planes available at that time were too limited in their radius of action including weight capacity and climbing performance turning them unable to fly over the dangerous almost suicidal gorges of the Himalayans. The task of providing ground forces with vital supplies became an urgent matter to be challenged.

A Chinese peasant looking dazed at one Curtiss C-46 seen passing  above before landing in one makeshift runway.

The winding contours of the treacherous Burma Road seized by the Japanese since 1942

Flying the Hump. The term coined by American Aviators. The most dangerous route in the war.

China - Burma - India map. The final destination of the longest supply route whose departure point was at southern Florida.

C-54 Skymaster. The four engined Douglas  transport made the perilous crossing of the Himalayans much safer.

The South Atlantic hop to Africa, the intermediary point of the Takoradi route.

An ATC Dakota flies over the historical monument in Egypt. No place in the operational theater was deprived from the prompt assistance of Air Transport Command.

An impressive view of the the Nubia Pyramids at sudanese desert, one of the most critical steps to reach British airbases in Egypt.

Another map of the supply routes that made possible for the British beleaguered garrisons to hold firm in the front in Africa and Asia



Archival Footage on the remarkable Allied effort to build up a steady supply line to aid China in its fighting against Japanese forces which invaded the country in mid 30,s. 


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